Tax season is upon us! There is no need to dread tax season – between free file options through the IRS and an abundance of tax credits available to take advantage of, many Americans will be receiving a tax refund this year.
Did you know your car can actually help you reduce your annual tax burden? There are various methods for reducing your taxes with your car. If you are a sole proprietor or use your car for work, you can deduct maintenance, mileage, car washes, depreciation, and more from your taxable income.
If you incur medical expenses of over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, you can deduct health-related travel expenses. You can also deduct travel expenses for any volunteer work that you do, provided you have the proof for your tax return. A good tax preparer can help you find the appropriate deductions for your situation.
Now that you have your refund in hand, what should you do with it? Depending on how much money you receive or what expenses you currently need to account for, you might be left with a nice chunk of change. Why not invest in your vehicle?
Here are 5 purchases to upgrade your ride today!
Under $50: Wiper Blades
For under $50, you can purchase a high-quality set of wiper blades – an often overlooked, but important, part of your car’s everyday machinery. A clean windshield can help you avoid an accident, and it has a huge impact on overall driving and safety. Good wiper blades will remove rain, snow, dirt, pollen, frost, and other debris quickly – without leaving distracting streaks behind. Pick up a few gallons of high-quality wiper fluid while you’re at it, and you’ll be seeing clear for the next few years.
Under $100: Ceramic Brake Pads
Brake pads are critical to your car’s function. Brakes wear down over time and need to be replaced with your regular maintenance. But with a minor upgrade to ceramic brake pads, you can not only stretch the time between replacements, but you’ll get much better performance. Ceramic brake pads will last roughly twice as long as standard brake pads, and your car will be quieter and smoother as well.
Under $250: Car Detailing
A car wash is something many of us do regularly, but how often have you gotten your car properly detailed? It can cost over $200, so a full-body detail isn’t something most people do regularly. However, there are many benefits to doing so. Getting your car detailed regularly helps preserve your car’s paint job – something that can be critical to resale value. Getting a deep clean on the interior will transform your driving experience and bring back some of the joy of driving a brand-new car. Not to mention, a detail can catch cosmetic issues before they get too expensive to repair and can help increase your car’s resale value. Definitely get a detail before you go to sell your car.
Under $500: Blind Spot Warning System
Many new car models today come equipped with high-tech safety systems like blind spot detection radars and cross-traffic alerts. However, if you haven’t bought the fanciest model car in the last couple years, your ride might be missing these helpful pieces of technology. For under $500, you can add sensors to your car that bundle two of the most popular modern safety features, the blind spot warning and cross-traffic alert. The device will warn you if you want to change lanes, and someone – or something – is in your blind spot. Cross-traffic systems will warn you of an approaching car, even if it’s out of your line of sight. Take your car in to a certified shop, so an electronics expert can make sure the install is done correctly.
Under $1000: Upgraded Shock Absorbers and Springs
Your suspension is out of sight, so for many drivers, it’s probably out of mind, too. But upgrading your car’s shock absorbers and springs will make for a noticeably smoother and more stable ride – and they’re something you should consider upgrading as regularly as your car requires it. If you spend a lot of time off-roading, or your city is full of potholes, consider making this investment into your car to extend its lifetime.
No matter what you decide to do with your tax refund, you can always count on saving money if you install LoJack. LoJack’s patented connected car technology helps keep your vehicle healthy with service notifications from your dealership and brings you peace of mind knowing that you can always locate your vehicle if it goes missing.